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Moody Center for the Arts

a lab for creativity

Michael Maltzan Architecture

Houston is a sprawling, vibrant, and unregulated city in which a skyscraper can spring up next to a wood-frame cottage. At its heart are two enclaves of order: the Menil museum complex and the campus of Rice University. Rice is a century old, and the buildings that line its tree-shaded axes are as uniform as soldiers on parade, sharing the same neo-classical vocabulary and buff brick cladding. Michael Maltzan won the commission to create the Moody Center for the Arts with a linear block that is full of references to the context but stands apart from its neighbors. In a university best known for its schools of engineering, medicine, and sciences, Moody is a key part of an emerging arts district that extends across the southern sector of the campus. It joins the music and dance departments, a James Turrell Sky Space, and an opera house that will soon break ground, serving the 7,000...

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